For several years the species of cat we have chosen to specialise in has been the tiger. The zoo is now home to Five tigers, two of whom have circus backgrounds.
Although we have successfully bred in the past, we don't breed our current tigers. This is for a few reasons:
- Their bloodlines are impure or unknown. This means that they can't be part of official breeding programmes for their subspecies and that breeding them would not be valuable for tiger conservation. Some also have genetic conditions which we don't want them to pass on.
- They are too old. We are more of a retirement home than a matchmaking service!
- Caring for cubs is a big commitment. If we do decide to breed any of our animals we need to be sure we know what will happen to the babies when they grow up.
- In particular, breeding white tigers is not ethical practise. There has been so much inbreeding in their history that they are now prone to serious health problems.
Our tiger conservation work focuses on education and protecting tigers in the wild.
Our tigers act as ambassadors for their species, and we hope that visiting them will inspire our visitors to care about efforts to protect them. Click on their names to find out about each one.Meet our Tigers
Aysha epitomises the saying "all the best things come in small packages". Having been born somewhat weak, she is small in stature. Nevertheless, what she lacks in size she makes up for in personality. Definitely one of the chummiest tigers in the sanctuary, she seldom fails to greet those familiar to her and then she just won't leave you alone! Aysha hands out copious amounts of affection, usually marked by endless purring.
Simi is an ex-circus tiger who was seized in 2013, on welfare grounds from a German travelling circus outside Hamburg. She was taken along with her sister Julia, to a rescue facility in Belgium. Unfortunately the two sister became unsettled living together so it was decided to separate them, Julia was offered a home at another UK zoo. When we heard about Simi's story we decided to provide her with a lifelong home.
Mondo is in his more mature years and takes life in his stride. One of his favourite pastimes is practising the art of 'relaxation’ although the slightest mention of a rump steak gets him up on his feet at lightning speed.
Girona is no spring chicken but he certainly hasn’t lost his zest for life and loves to take a refreshing dip in his pool. He’s a real gentleman and is even happy to wait his turn at meal times.
Natasha is not shy by any stretch of the imagination. This affectionate and curious tiger vies to be the centre of attention. She is very human focused and loves to be made a fuss of while chuffing away to her hearts content.
'Zoppa’ is Italian for 'limping’. She is lame on a front leg and it’s fairly safe to assume, by her name, that she has had this physical defect from birth. She’s often in the limelight and can be a real flirt.
Antonella is a chilled-out tiger and is more introverted than her companions. She’s happy in her own company but she can be sociable. When she does come close she has a superior air about her and a breath-taking presence.